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Bainimarama criticizes Fiji’s UN vote on Israel conflict

The former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has criticized the Government for voting in favour of the war in Israel at the United Nations ‘Emergency Session’ last week.

The FijiFirst Party Leader said this action (vote) contradicts Fiji’s long-standing legacy as peacekeepers – A legacy upon which both our reputation and that of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces have been founded.

According to the United Nations, Fiji was among a group of 14 countries who voted against the resolution calling for a ‘humanitarian truce’ in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Last Friday, the United Nations called for an emergency session, which saw the adoption of a non-binding Jordanian resolution in New York by a large majority of Member States, with 120 voted in favour, 14 against and 45 abstentions.

The resolution called for an ‘immediate, durable, and sustained humanitarian truce’ between Israel forces and the Hamas militants in Gaza. It also demands ‘continuous, sufficient and unhindered’ provision of lifesaving supplies and services for civilians trapped inside the enclave, as news reports suggest Israel has expanded ground operations and intensified its bombing campaign.

However, Bainimarama said that: “To be clear, this vote was not to support either side of the conflict but a resolution to save thousands of innocent people, including women and children, many of whom have lost everything.

“This was a vote for peace, for a diplomatic resolution, for the end of the suffering of innocent civilians, and most importantly, to send critical humanitarian aid to women and children, whom, unfortunately, our current leadership has seen fit to vote against,” the former Prime Minister said.

However, the FijiFirst Party Leader highlighted that Fiji’s vote goes against the fundamental principles of humanity, peace, and justice that should guide our nation’s international policies.

Bainimarama said Fiji has always been a friend to all and an enemy to none.

He said our stance has been to keep peace, and now, for the first time, we have broken this stance, an insult to the memories of generations of peacekeepers who have always protected the innocent.

The former Prime Minister added that thankfully, most of the world has voted for the resolution for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

“…and I thank them for this sensible action,” Bainimarama said.

Fiji was joined by Austria, Croatia, Czechia, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Tonga and the United States in voting against the UN resolution.

FijiLive has reached out to the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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